Adventure in Washington (1941)

82 or 84 mins | Drama | 30 May 1941

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Senate Page Boys . According to a 13 Feb 1941 HR news item, Les White was borrowed from M-G-M to photograph this film, but was recalled to the studio before the start of production. Lewis R. Foster, who wrote the screenplay with Arthur Caesar, also wrote the story for the 1939 Columbia film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2928). According to materials contained in NARS in Washington, D.C., the Office of Censorship disapproved this film for export on the grounds that its depiction of the bribing of a Senate pageboy would "hinder the war ... More Less

The working title of this film was Senate Page Boys . According to a 13 Feb 1941 HR news item, Les White was borrowed from M-G-M to photograph this film, but was recalled to the studio before the start of production. Lewis R. Foster, who wrote the screenplay with Arthur Caesar, also wrote the story for the 1939 Columbia film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.2928). According to materials contained in NARS in Washington, D.C., the Office of Censorship disapproved this film for export on the grounds that its depiction of the bribing of a Senate pageboy would "hinder the war effort." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
31 May 1941.
---
Daily Variety
23 May 1941.
---
Film Daily
29 May 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 41
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
31 May 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 May 41
p. 136.
New York Times
1 Aug 41
p. 11.
Variety
6 Aug 41
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Asst to prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Senate Page Boys
Release Date:
30 May 1941
Production Date:
12 February--24 March 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 May 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10778
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82 or 84
Length(in feet):
7,592
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
7025
SYNOPSIS

When Senator John Coleridge, the newly appointed head of the Naval Appropriations Committee, is asked for an interview by Washington radio broadcaster Jane Scott, he adamantly refuses and accuses Jane of distorting his positions. Upon retreating to the sanctity of his office, John finds his old friend, Jim O'Brien, waiting to speak to him. When O'Brien asks John to appoint Marty Driscoll, the orphaned son of John's political mentor, as a senate pageboy, the senator is reluctant until O'Brien reminds him of the debt he owes to the boy's father. Upon returning home, O'Brien, who was Marty's father's business partner, learns the boy is in trouble once again and has been arrested for breaking a window. After arranging for Marty's release, O'Brien informs the boy that he has arranged a job for him in Washington, D.C. Rather than being grateful, Marty, a querulous boy with a bad attitude, disdains the opportunity. Upon arriving in Washington, Marty goes to John's office and meets Jane in the waiting room. Jane has been excluded from John's meeting with reporters because she is a woman, and fumes with resentment. When John' s secretary leaves her desk, Jane and Marty become allies, as Jane uses the intercom to eavesdrop on John's interview while Marty guards the door. Over lunch with John and Senator Henry Owen, Marty learns that he must attend school with the other pages and truculently storms out of the restaurant. Dismayed, Owen suggests that John send Marty home, but John remains confident that the boy can be reformed. At page school, Marty meets Bundy, the stern headmaster, who insists upon strict ... +


When Senator John Coleridge, the newly appointed head of the Naval Appropriations Committee, is asked for an interview by Washington radio broadcaster Jane Scott, he adamantly refuses and accuses Jane of distorting his positions. Upon retreating to the sanctity of his office, John finds his old friend, Jim O'Brien, waiting to speak to him. When O'Brien asks John to appoint Marty Driscoll, the orphaned son of John's political mentor, as a senate pageboy, the senator is reluctant until O'Brien reminds him of the debt he owes to the boy's father. Upon returning home, O'Brien, who was Marty's father's business partner, learns the boy is in trouble once again and has been arrested for breaking a window. After arranging for Marty's release, O'Brien informs the boy that he has arranged a job for him in Washington, D.C. Rather than being grateful, Marty, a querulous boy with a bad attitude, disdains the opportunity. Upon arriving in Washington, Marty goes to John's office and meets Jane in the waiting room. Jane has been excluded from John's meeting with reporters because she is a woman, and fumes with resentment. When John' s secretary leaves her desk, Jane and Marty become allies, as Jane uses the intercom to eavesdrop on John's interview while Marty guards the door. Over lunch with John and Senator Henry Owen, Marty learns that he must attend school with the other pages and truculently storms out of the restaurant. Dismayed, Owen suggests that John send Marty home, but John remains confident that the boy can be reformed. At page school, Marty meets Bundy, the stern headmaster, who insists upon strict discipline and warns the boys that all governmental information must remain confidential. After Collins, the head page, takes the boys on a tour of the senate chambers, the pages assume their duties. One day, as a prank, the boys send Marty to deliver a message to a non- existent senator. Upon discovering that he has been sent on a wild goose chase, Marty bursts into the senate chambers and slugs Abbott, the boy who handed him the message. As punishment, Marty is ordered by Collins to clean the chambers after hours, but he refuses. Chastised by John, Marty turns to Jane for advice, and she counsels him to stop using his fists to solve his problems and start trying to win the respect of the other boys. A contrite Marty returns to serve his punishment and is soon accepted by his peers. Now reformed, Marty proudly conducts tours of the senate, thus earning John's admiration and affection. One day, Frank Conroy, an influential stockbroker, invites John to a dinner party. Knowing that Conroy is unscrupulous, John at first refuses the invitation until he learns that Jane will be there. At the party, John thanks Jane for reforming Marty and asks her to dance. Later, Conroy calls John into his study and asks for advance information about the appropriations bill. Repulsed, John immediately leaves the party with Jane. On the day of the committee hearing on the bill, Marty overhears Owen and Senator Sam Cummings discuss the contents of the bill and is upbraided by Bundy for eavesdropping. Hounded by reporters, John entrusts his briefcase containing the bill to Marty and instructs him to lock it away. When Owen's position on the bill is leaked to the press, the senator suspects that Marty may be responsible. After Bundy testifies that he witnessed Marty eavedropping on the senators, it is decided to send the boy home. Although both Jane and John retain their faith in Marty's integrity, Marty is bitter, and out of revenge, he divulges the contents of the bill to Conroy. When the pages rally to Marty's support, John urges Owen to give the boy the benefit of the doubt and he agrees. Upon learning that he is to be reinstated as a page, Marty, conscience-stricken, follows Conroy to New York, and with tears in his eyes, pleads with Conroy to keep the information secret. He is too late, however, because Conroy has already passed along the details. When the story appears in the paper, a special investigation is launched into uncovering the leak. John is suspected and interrogated by the committee, his political career in jeopardy. Hearing Jane's broadcast about John's plight, Marty hitchhikes back to Washington, pushes his way into John's office and admits to giving the information to Conroy. Pleading for leniency on Marty's behalf, John suggests that the boy be tried by his peers, the senate pageboys. When the committee consents, the boys unanimously vote for Marty's reinstatement, and Marty then proudly reaffirms his faith in the pageboy credo. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.